30.09.15. Birdlog

30.09.15. Birdlog30.09.15. Mersey Estuary from Weston Village. Bill Morton (2)

30.09.15. No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonThere’s been some excellent autumn weather of late and each evening the sunset spectacle over the Welsh hills are reflected in the amber hues on the Mersey Estuary. Then if you throw in the works at Ineos Chlor and Hale lighthouse it gives it a little perspective (of sorts).

On the birding front the continued high water level on No.6 tank is favourable for ducks but alas not for shorebirds. However, Sean managed a healthy flock of 500 Black-tailed Godwit on the Weaver Bend after work with 350 Redshank, 2 Ruff and singles of both Common Sandpiper and Dunlin.

30.09.15. Shoveler (female), No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

I on the other hand could only manage: 520 Common Teal, 12 Gadwall, 36 Shoveler, 14 Pintail, 30 Wigeon, 121 Mallard, 7 Common Shelduck and 240 Tufted Duck, 8 Mute Swan, 27 Cormorant and not a lot of anything else.

Observers: Sean O’Hara, WSM (and images).

28.09.15. Wind Farm Construction Update

27.09.15. Wind Farm construction, Frodsham Marsh. Shaun Hickey

The above image is a little Roswellesque and may (or may not) have landed on Frodsham Marsh. Alien conspiracies apart, there are two bases (?) on the Lordship Marsh adjacent to Lordship Lane. The first is close to the motorway and is situated by the blue slurry tank/silo and the other is in positioned in the first field immediately east of the Growhow works.

24.09.15. Wind Farm construction, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh

The urgency of the construction of the wind turbines for the Frodsham Marsh Wind Farm is matched by a small number of over eager workers and their urgency in getting from A to B. The vehicles are racing along and kicking up clouds of dust from the tracks during this period of dry weather. If CHC contractors are reading this then 15 mph is the speed limit.

24.09.15. Pile Driver on No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

24.09.15. Wind Farm construction, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh..24.09.15. Wind Farm construction, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh.These series of images show work from Lordship Marsh (image 1) and No.5 tank where the stanchions are being pile driven in place.

Image 1 by Shaun Hickey. Images 2-5 by WSM.

27.09.15. Birdlog

27.09.15. Birdlog

A walk from Ince along Lordship Lane to the ramp track onto No.4 tank and then back again.

26.09.15.Open water of No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)There were six Kestrel all of which were combining their hunting tactics. It could be a combination of habitat loss and/or a good breeding season that is attracting the numbers of Kestrel to the area but whatever it is, its welcome. Adding to the raptor theme was a couple of Sparrowhawk. Two Peregrine were hanging about the Growhow Works and there’s no-show without the ubiquitous Common Buzzard.

The Holpool Gutter attracted 2 Grey Wagtail while along the hedgerows a bounding flock of 20 Long-tailed Tits pulled along a couple of Blue Tit.

Finches were again abundant 50-60 Goldfinch with a few Linnet in tow. The birds were twitchy and couldn’t settle for long with the attention of a Sparrowhawk testing their defences. Yet another Goldfinch flock at the back of the works contained 30 birds.

Four Reed Bunting were scattered along the gutter edges with seemingly a Wren every few metres.

Two Wheatear were feeding in the wind turbine compound while 4 Stonechat  hung out along the Growhow pipeline.

The field adjacent to the pallet compound was getting a fair coating of shit from the farmers muck spreader and this in turn attracted 300 Black-headed Gull, 6 Raven, and a hundred Jackdaw and Rook. I guess once he’s finished this job it’ll bring in a few other species.

The walk ended with a small (12) south bound Swallow flock.

Observer: Shaun Hickey.

27.09.15. Water Rail, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers (1)

The Cetti’s Warbler was still singing along the north bank of No.6 tank this morning but didn’t show. Also present were a Water Rail, a male Stonechat and a Reed Warbler. Amongst the ducks on the tank were 2 Pochard, 13 Pintail and 10 Wigeon.

27.09.15. Coal Tit, Brook Furlong Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers (2)
Six Coal Tit made their way through the trees by the ramp up to No.1 tank where also a Grey Wagtail flew east and a Mistle Thrush flew north. 2 Goldcrest were along Brook Furlong Lane and another Coal Tit was later seen at the Splashing Pool.
2 Avocet were out on the Mersey Estuary at low tide.
Also seen across the Marsh were: 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Jay, 5 Skylark, 40 Long-tailed Tit, 11 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap and a Whitethroat.

Observer: Alyn Chambers (images 3-4)

Images: WSM

26.09.15. Birdlog

26.09.15. Birdlog

26.09.15. (winter) Black-necked Grebe, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

26.09.15. (winter) Black-necked Grebe, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)A splendid day to be out and about birding on Frodsham Marsh. I met Simon from Manchester at the eastern corner of No.6 tank and after a chat about his Svalbard summer jaunt, it was a sub-singing Cetti’s Warbler which broke the conversation and brought us both back to a spot of birding. The Cetti’s was tucked into an Elder bush and gave very brief views as it moved through the leafy branches before throwing its song which bounce about in the amphitheatre of the tank walls.

A text from MacDuff and we soon located the relocated Black-necked Grebe after a week’s absence. I’m sure it doesn’t leave No.6 tank but secretes itself into the banks and remains undetected during midweek.

26.09.15. Flying Little Grebe, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

I was having a day off counting ducks but the whole of the open water was filled with them. Wigeon, Pintail, Common Teal, Common Shelduck, Common Pochard, Gadwall, Mallard, Pintail and the ever-present Tufted Duck.

26.09.15. (eclipse) drake Common Teal, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

26.09.15. The northern banks of No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA kettle of 17 Common Buzzard were circling high over No.5 tank and a Peregrine hurtled out towards Frodsham Score.

A small movement of 50 Meadow Pipit were on and over No.5 tank and small flocks of House Martin and Swallow were moving west with the occasional Siskin calling overhead.

The Great White Egret was sighted from there earlier in the day (Dave Craven) and the same observer was vigilant when watching the spiraling raptors over at Within Way, Hale he spotted a Common Crane which flew from the direction of Frodsham Marsh.

26.09.15.Open water of No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

Observers: Simon, Frank Duff, WSM (images 1-6).

Merlin female, 26 Oct 2015 Frodsham Marsh. Roger Wilkinson

A female Merlin was sat out on the fence line by the pipes on No.1 tank and watched a flock 200 strong Goldfinch charm.

Observer: Roger Wilkinson (image 7)

24.09.15. Birdlog

24.09.15. Birdlog

24.09.15. Sunset at Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A fine evening awaited me at the end of the working day and birding on the marsh beckoned.

24.09.15. Pile Driver on No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

The pile driver was hard at work close to the ramp track onto No.5 tank and for the short period it was active, this was enough to nurture a banging headache (well, a minor tremor). A shooter popping off Wood Pigeons was acting as judge and executioner on the fields along Lordship Lane. The Tufted Duck were in relative security on No.6 tank but a little wary and probably weary of the shooting nearby. The ducks took nervously to the wing on several occasions but, when the noise settled to a distant din, I settled down to count the duck scattered across the open water.

24.09.15. Wigeon, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

24.09.15. Tufted Ducks, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The Tufted Duck were typically clustered together and numbered 267 birds. Common Teal were the most numerous species but they generally kept close to and in the margins of the Michaelmas Daisy beds with an estimate of 400 birds. Both Shoveler and Gadwall were in double figures while Wigeon were a surprise count with 37 birds widespread on the tank. 30 Cormorant and 9 Mute Swan were also present while 400 House Martin and 100 Swallow made up the rest of the cast.

24.09.15.Peregrines on blue-topeed chimney from Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (11)

24.09.15.Peregrines on blue-topeed chimney from Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (12)24.09.15. Flowers at Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA visit to Marsh Farm at dusk was rewarded with seeing the Peregrines perched up for the night on the blue-topped chimney. The adult female was a massive girl and she dwarfed the male, being twice his size.

Observer and images: WSM

22.09.15. Birdlog

22.09.15. Birdlog

22.09.15. StonechatNo.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

22.09.15. Wheatear, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.It was quite blustery on our way to the River Weaver from Brook Furlong Lane this evening. After negotiating the over friendly cows on the restricted byway adjacent to Redwall reedbed we eventually reached the river. The effort put in didn’t warrant the outlay but it’s always pleasing to see a flotilla of 12 Little Grebe engaging in a spot of water bobbing on the river. Also noted were 120 Tufted Duck gathered against the wooden jetty to avoid the buffeting wind.

22.09.15. Wheatear, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

Walking back and taking a diversion onto Alder Lane we reached the pipes that cross No.1 tank where 6 Wheatear were gathered out of the wind and further along the track was a male and female Stonechat which kept hopscotching along the fence line.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).

21.09.15. Birdlog

21.09.15. Birdlog

21.09.15. Wigeon, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh

A couple of hours birding after work and with the weather alternating between dull and sunny I thought a watch over No.6 tank may produce some decent birds.

21.09.15. Wigeon, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh.The Tufted Duck flock like the weather alternates between 100 and 300 birds and to cover the middle ground (or water) 200 birds were present this evening. Also present were 3 Pochard, 43 Mallard, 12 Gadwall, 34 Shoveler, 10 Pintail, 170 Common Teal, 45 Common Shelduck and 26 Wigeon.

A Sparrowhawk sailed by and 2 Kestrel hunted the tank beds. While four Common Buzzard were soaring high over Helsby Hill.

A mixed flock of 200 Swallow and House Martin were feeding low over the water and 3 Chiffchaff and a juvenile Reed Warbler were moving through the reed beds.

Observer and images: WSM